Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle
by Meg Illman-White
Minister – Grace St. Andrew's United Church
Bay of Quinte Conference.
I first became involved in awareness about the issues of uranium mining in 1987 when I was ordained to Canora-Invermay Pastoral Charge in Saskatchewan. The United Church was actively involved and was taking risky stands against unregulated mining and its damage to the environment and to health.|
When people in The United Church of Canada say the Creed, they say these words:
We are called to be the Church, to celebrate God's presence, to live with respect in creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil....
It is my faith that calls me to speak on this matter. It is not just a justice “issue” for those of us who live along the Ottawa River System and it is not just a justice “issue” for those who live close to the mining site.
It is about living with respect in creation and being good neighbours. Its about the air we breathe, the land we till and the waters we fish and drink. The Algonquin people have launched a brave protest at great personal cost to try to force the Ontario Government to shoulder its responsibility so that all of us may have life and health. As a member of the United Church of Canada and as a person of faith, I believe that all of us, as neighbours have a responsibility to stand together to convince the government to change the archaic mining laws in this province. It is happening all over Canada, and it is happening in the United States and around the world. Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals are coming together and forming community over this important issue. Together our voices are powerful. Together we must stand.
We have heard again and again today that Nuclear power isn't clean, or green, or safe.
It doesn't stop with the ground water contamination during mining
It doesn't stop with the pollution in rivers where radioactive wastes are disposed in the river.
It doesn't stop with the deposits of radium in the dumping grounds of uranium mining sites.
It doesn't stop with the cancers caused by even minimal contact with radium.
It hasn't stopped with the contamination of the Serpent River System in the 70's.
It hasn't stopped with the strong public voices of the people of Saskatchewan for the past 20 years.
It hasn't stopped with the courageous peaceful protests made by first nations people.
Aboriginal voices are now finally being heard tahnks to the Ardoch Algonquin First Nations, the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation and others across Canada. Saskatchewan's voices have made a difference and we are delighted that they stand with us too. Nancy White, Canada's Sunday Morning political songwriter in the 80's stirred us up long ago with haunting warnings about Nuclear power. Interfaith groups are joining in. And people like us are speaking out. I'm grateful to the commission for the opportunity to draw together voices from diverse segments of our country – voices determined to say: “No thanks”
No thanks to uranium mining
No thanks to companies that rape the land and destroy our waters.
No thanks to a government that continues to disregard the rights and the voice of our First Nations people.
No thanks to the imprisonment of Robert Lovelace and six members of the KI (north of Thunder Bay)
No thanks to the dangers of nuclear disaster at Bruce, Darlington and Pickering.
No thanks to nuclear power